Housing targets

17th December 2020

Cotswolds MP welcomes the Government’s decision to drop the housing algorithm that would have seen a 188% housing target increase in the constituency.  The announcement was made on 16 December as a response to the consultation on the standard method for assessing Local Housing Need, the Government has the broader strategy to increase housing delivery across the country, by 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

The Cotswolds, which is 80% AONB has a current local plan requirement of 420 houses, which would have increased under the Proposed Standard Method to 1,209.  This would have put immense pressure to develop on the greenbelt, not taking into account the needs of the existing communities.  Further details will be announced in the New Year.

Commenting, Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown MP said:

“These planning changes were one of the most significant events to affect the Cotswolds since WWII. The housing algorithm was a blunt instrument, which would have meant a staggering increase in housing.  I hope we get back to old method of deciding housing mix and numbers through the local plan.  

“I have been lobbying extremely hard for this change, the Cotswolds being one of the most egregious cases in the country and I made detailed submission to both ‘changes to the current planning system’ consultation and ‘planning for the future’ consultation. Traditionally in the Cotswolds there has been a focus on building expensive 3-4 bedroom houses, which is not affordable to many young people, especially those in the public sector who are priced out of the area. The Government have listened to these concerns and we will be able to decide our housing mix and needs, so we can improve the market for young and elderly buyers.”

PUBLIC MEETING

THE COTSWOLDS
FLOOD RESILIENCE

An opportunity for residents of Bledington, South Cerney, Cerney Wick, Siddington, Cirencester, Fairford, Lechlade and Moreton-in-Marsh to hear and ask questions of the continued flood resilience work taking place and to speak with officials from the County and District Councils, Parish Council, Thames Water and the Environment Agency about ongoing issues.  

PUBLIC MEETING

 Friday 5 March 2021
1030-1245

VIA ZOOM ONLY

Please email Bettertonj@parliament.uk if you wish to participate in the call and also include any questions or concerns you would like to have discussed.  I will then forward the Zoom invitation.

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Planning White Papers

I have submitted my responses to the two planning consultations: “Changes to the current planning system’ and “Planning for the future’.

These planning changes are one of the most significant events to affect the Cotswolds since WWII. I think that both papers contain positive proposals, in our case commitments to protect the AONB. The proposal to abolition Section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should speed up the planning process and it is important that the money is retained locally so that the infrastructure can be built at the same time as the development. 

Too often we see a development being built long before the supporting infrastructure, which I know can cause significant issues for existing residents. The proposals to simplify and speed up local plan-making and retaining neighbourhood plans where possible are welcome, in that design codes can be specified so it should be possible to protect our unique Cotswolds vernacular.   

I spoke in the planning backbench business debate on the 8 October and called for a change to the algorithm the Government uses in its planning White Paper which fails to take account of local variations and concentrates all new house building in the south-east and central south of England. 

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